Oct. 22 (UPI) — The 2020 Holiday Bowl has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, bowl organizers announced Thursday.
With the cancellation, the Holiday Bowl — played in San Diego every year since 1978 — becomes the fourth bowl game this year to be called off due to COVID-19.
“This has been the most difficult decision our Board has ever had to make since our bowl game started in 1978,” Holiday Bowl CEO Mark Neville said in a statement Thursday. “While it’s not the decision we wanted to make, it’s the right decision for our non-profit association and the community for the long term.”
The Holiday Bowl wouldn’t have been able to host fans at this year’s game due to the ongoing pandemic, which led to a unanimous vote to cancel by the game’s board of directors.
The Holiday Bowl was set to pair teams from the ACC and Pac-12.
“The Pac-12 shares in the Holiday Bowl’s disappointment that the current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of this year’s game,” the Pac-12 said in a statement. “The Holiday Bowl is a premier and historic postseason game loved by fans across the country, and we look forward to the 2021 and future editions of the game.
“We will continue to work with our Bowl partners on our 2020 lineup.”
When the Holiday Bowl returns, it is expected to be held at Petco Park — home of MLB’s San Diego Padres — moving forward. SDCCU Stadium, the current home of the game, is set to be demolished to build a new stadium for San Diego State.
The Holiday Bowl is the second Pac-12-affiliated bowl to announce its cancellation this year, joining the Redbox Bowl — played in Santa Clara, Calif. — which made its announcement in July. The Bahamas Bowl and Hawaii Bowl were scrapped earlier this month.
In last year’s Holiday Bowl, the Iowa Hawkeyes earned a 49-24 win over the USC Trojans.